Kellie - Three Benefits of Being a Co-op Student for WorkBC

4 July 2018
Are you a post-secondary student thinking about co-operative (co-op) opportunities? Are you interested in working for the government?

After graduating high school, I went to the University of Victoria and was pre-accepted to the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business program, specializing in Entrepreneurship. Since then I have completed my third year and gone to Krakow, Poland for a semester long exchange. However, to graduate from the program you must have completed three co-operative experiences between semesters. Completing a previous co-op, I recognized I wanted to gain experience in a large corporation. This is where I found the Client Engagement Unit Co-op opportunity at the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Working for the government can be challenging. For example, there are many acronyms that are used in daily conversations. However, there are three overall benefits that I experienced as a co-op for WorkBC.ca:
  1. Great Support Systems: Having a good relationship with your supervisor is important for a great co-op experience. One strategy that my supervisor implemented is having weekly meetings. My supervisor could check up on my work and skill development and I could ask questions or concerns that I had on current or upcoming projects.
  2. Large Opportunity to Grow: The government as a whole is a very large organization. As a co-op student I was able to work on projects that don’t necessarily land under my job description but allowed further skill development. For example I was able to conduct research on multiple projects, moderate social media comments and implement new processes by discovering and using innovative technology that helped my colleagues moderate more efficiently as well. Because the government is a large organization you are able to participate on projects that are outside your job description and develop your skills further.
  3. The Greater Purpose: Working for the B.C. Public Service is extremely rewarding. Working on WorkBC.ca helps British Columbians successfully navigate B.C’s job market. WorkBC.ca helps people find jobs, explore career options and improve their skills. We also help employers fill vacancies, find the right employee and grow their business. This is a lot of responsibility, but because your projects support this greater purpose you gain a sense of pride and motivation when completing a new task.
Before I joined the Ministry, I had little experience in large corporate settings. Coming to an office that has more than 100 people within a building was intimidating, but I was excited for the opportunity to learn the processes. This co-op experience allowed me to recognize what a large organization can accomplish. I couldn’t have asked for a more worthwhile and skill development experience. I encourage others to learn more about co-op education opportunities so you too gain relevant experience before graduation.